Brands are no longer the only players with power and influence on media channels. Today, social media puts power in the hands of the individual who may have networks that extend far beyond the typical reach of our brands.
To pick the right influencer for your campaign, it’s important to understand the difference between two terms that get thrown around a lot: influencers and ambassadors. In this whitepaper, we'll look at the what and why of influencer marketing, and break through the confusion of influencers vs ambassadors (and which might suit you).
Influence has many faces and they go by many different names: bloggers, vloggers, social media mavens, advocates, ambassadors – the list goes on. All of these names bear influential power, and both influencers and ambassadors are brilliant ways for brands to reach a brand-new audience.
Take a second to think about word-of-mouth referrals. Present day consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself. If I was to come up to you out of nowhere and start bragging about how great I am, you'd probably tune me out (or call security!). But if a mutual friend was to vouch for me, that might just get you on my side.
With this in mind, think of ambassador marketing as the mutual friend connecting your brand with potential customers. An ambassador with a loyal audience can drive traffic to your site, increase your presence online and improve your sales through their recommendations. In a world where consumers are wise to overt marketing tactics, they want to research a brand on their own and get recommendations from someone they trust.
You’re probably wondering, how is this different to influencer marketing? And the answer lies in shared values.
An influencer is usually hired short-term for the value of their large audience, with the hope that they'll drive outcome and content related to a brand. Whereas a brand ambassador already loves the brand or product, and feels the need to share it with their friends because it resonates with their values as a person.
Influencer marketing also presents some danger. If you’re tuned into the influencer marketing world, chances are you’ve heard about the growing problem of fake followers. If you unknowingly partner with an account which has purchased followers, your brand can expect zero results. Influencer fraud can set your campaign back by damaging your brand reputation, draining your marketing budget, and throwing your social media algorithm out of whack.
Then there's the question of trust. Despite increased ad money being spent on influencer marketing, 96% of people do not trust influencers, according to YouGov and Grey London. People are aware that a paid influencer is not much different than direct marketing. And even the best influencers lose clout over time.
At Brandbassador, we empower brands to turn their customers and fans into their greatest brand advocates. We’re passionate about ambassador marketing, and we’re eager to help you scale your brand awareness and revenue growth with the right form of influence on hand.
Download our whitepaper to read more about the differences between influencer and ambassador marketing, and take our quick quiz to help clarify where you might stand on the matter.